2015/2016 Awards Recipients

Congratulations to the 2015/2016 Ringette Alberta Award recipients. These awards celebrate and recognize the hard work that these individuals and teams put in throughout the season.

Junior Official of the Year:

Kristi Puszkar of Calgary

Kristi has officiated over 250 games this season alone, not including provincials, playdowns and RAB Challenge!! Despite living in Okotoks, she constantly drove out the 30 minute – or longer – commute to Calgary and often went beyond Calgary. This year she also received her last 3B evaluation, she worked hard and constantly used feedback to further develop her officiating skills.

Senior Official of the Year:

Brian Syverson of Medicine Hat

Brian has been reffing for 27 years in Medicine Hat. Over the years he has held many roles surrounding officiating. He advocates that partnerships are paramount for a successful officiating team, and always tries to promote a fun atmosphere despite the pressures of officiating. On-ice he always has fun while officiating a fair and consistent game.

Coach of the Year:

Kelsey Letendre of Drayton Valley

Kelsey started playing 20 years ago, then became an official, and also later became a coach. Always ready for practices, games, and tournaments, she dedicated countless hours to this team. She started coaching these ladies as a Junior Coach for their U12 teams, and consistently sought to put importance on development over the years, both on and off the ice.

Friends of Ringette Awards:

Warren Fuller of Sherwood Park

Warren has a great passion for the sport and ensuring a positive experience for all athletes. He himself is an image of positivity and that is reflected onto his endeavours throughout the association, whether it is on the executive, as a coach, or promoting the sport in the community.

Leanne Couves of Spruce Grove

Leanne was extremely helpful in securing and scheduling ice for Ringette Alberta’s Provincial Playdowns. She went above and beyond her volunteer commitment to ensure that Ringette Alberta had sufficient ice, and when they did not, sought out other ice options from other user groups in and around Spruce Grove to make sure these games happened.

Jodee McKinney Pearse of Edmonton

Jodee has been a coach, a manager, Edmonton Ringette board member, and Ringette Alberta board director and Treasurer. Over the years, she has championed Long Term Athlete Development concepts. She stepped up in a huge way when the RAB office was without an executive director for several months a few years back. She also rolled up her sleeves to take on many day to day tasks at the office, critical to keeping it going during staff turnover.

Terri Schade of Edmonton

Ever since this Terri came to Edmonton from Winnipeg, she has been involved heavily in the officiating community. She was already a very experienced official, that started mentoring right away, and continued that by stepping into the President position with NARRA, as well as assigning for Edmonton Ringette. She also was a HUGE help in scheduling officials for playdowns in the north, taking it upon herself to draft schedules.

Guy Lanigan of Medicine Hat

Guy became involved in Ringette 12 years ago in Medicine Hat, this positive and outgoing individual has taken on several roles for the association, scheduler, 1-2-3 league liaison, tournament coordinator, and referee-in-chief. He also acted as Ringette Sport Chair for the recent Alberta Winter Games, where he helped create a well-organized tournament that was an overwhelming success.

Ringette Excellence Award:

Brian Hoyano of Edmonton

A few years ago, concerned with the lack of new goaltenders, Brian started questioning the size of the nets at certain age levels. He attended the 2014 Summit where the idea took hold and then spearheaded an initiative to look into using smaller nets, and along with multiple other associations, he approached Ringette Alberta to get support in various ways.

Ringette Excellence Award:

Ralph Bell of Lacombe

Ralph has been involved with ringette since his daughters first started playing over 20 years ago. Over the years he has taken on multiple head coaching positions, within Central Alberta and with the Edmonton WAM! He has led numerous teams to success over the course of his coaching career, but it isn’t all his awards and achievements that set him apart. He challenges his athletes, while providing them the skills and support to succeed on and off the ice. He believes in his players, and his players trust him, delivering a positive team atmosphere.

Back in December, Ringette’s finest athletes headed to compete in the 2016 World Ringette Championship in Helsinki, Finland. Team Canada Juniors had an outstanding tournament, going undefeated and winning gold at the event. Ringette Alberta would like to recognize the Alberta athletes and coaches that helped bring that team it’s success.

– Ellen Hoban of Calgary
– Justine Exner of Calgary
– Annie Debaji of Edmonton
– Lauren Henderson of St. Albert
– Kelsie Caine of Red Deer
– Robyn Gillespie of Sherwood Park
– Head Coach Lorrie Horne of Sherwood Park
– Assistant Coach Chris Belan of Calgary
– Athletic Therapist Melinda Watson of Red Deer
Thank you to you all for making Alberta proud!

Board Service Awards:

Kim Patten of Edmonton

Kim has been board member at Large with Ringette Alberta for the past 4 years. She served on both the Human Resources and Governance Committees. Her experiences, work and perspective at the local association level have been valuable in her questions and contributions at board meetings.

Stu Frunchak of Sherwood Park

Part way through the 2011-12 season, Stuart stepped up to fill a vacancy on the Ringette Alberta board. Since then, he has served as a board member at large and as Vice President on the Governance committee. He has brought his real life experience in quality systems management, data base and web design work to RAB projects like UAA, policy writing, meetings and discussions.

Harry Benders of Sherwood Park

Harry has taken on many roles from his local association in Sherwood Park, ad-hoc RAB committees, the Black Gold League, to various roles on the Ringette Alberta board. Harry has been a great support to the Ringette Alberta staff, taking time out to stop by the office and individually check in on us, taking interest in some of the lesser known things we do or deal with. He has been a driving force in the revamp of policies and technical manuals, including reformatting and updating Ringette Alberta policies; assisting with updating Provincial Championships technical manuals and hosting guides and updating Western Canadian Ringette Championships policies to ensure consistency and longevity.

Cathy Over, of Calgary, was inducted into the Ringette Canada Hall of Fame this year. Ringette Alberta was lucky enough to have her in attendance to present her with this award.

More information on Cathy’s Induction to follow.